Joan Coll of the hairdressers' guild. | Jaume Morey

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The hairdressers' guild has denounced what it calls unfair competition from "low-cost" hairdressing salons. The president of the guild, Joan Coll, says that these salons are often run by people who don't work in the trade and who rent out space to hairdressers, who pay their own social security and for products. A percentage from each client goes to the salon, and this can be up to 50%.

The practice of renting, he adds, is common in countries such as the USA, but it is illegal here. The main problem is that these salons don't pay the same amount of tax and so can keep the prices down. Coll adds that traditional hairdressers have not recovered from the financial crisis. "People go to places like these, as they are cheaper."

Coll argues that service in a traditional barber's is different. "We offer a personalised service. We cut with scissors, while in the others everything is with an electric cutter." He believes that some clients are now turning their back on the low-cost salons because they don't appreciate the lack of attention.

The guild's vice-president, Rafael Rubio, says that a gentleman's cut in a traditional barber's takes between 30 and 35 minutes. In a low-cost salon it is more like ten minutes. The quality of service is low because of the pressure of time.

The guild is calling for there to be a level playing field in terms of, for example, the payment of social security and work contracts.